Traders work and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, March 31. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Canada’s main stock index was broadly lower late morning on Monday, reversing earlier gains as a retreat led by financial stocks offset advances by mining stocks.
The financials group slipped 0.8 per cent, as six of the 10 most influential decliners were banks and insurers. Royal Bank of Canada was down 0.9 per cent at $96.02, while Sun Life Financial fell 1.8 per cent to $47.68.
Enbridge Inc, another influential decliner, fell 1.3 per cent to $54.99. The energy group, which retreated 0.7 per cent, tracked oil prices which were pressured by a rebound in Libyan oil output. U.S. crude prices were down 0.7 per cent to $50.25 a barrel, while Brent crude lost 0.6 per cent to $53.19.
Magna International Inc also dragged on the index, sliding 2.8 per cent to $55.81, helping push the consumer discretionary group down 0.5 per cent.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 65.99 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 15,481.76. All but one of the index’s 10 main groups were in the red. The index mirrored moves lower on Wall Street.
Teck Resources Ltd was up 4 per cent to $30.25, as thermal coal prices and European coal futures climbed. Prices rose due to a disruption of coal exports caused by rail line damage in northeast Australia from Cyclone Debbie, which struck last week.
Gold miners including Barrick Gold Corp, which advanced 1.6 per cent to $25.67, and Franco Nevada Corp , which climbed 1.6 per cent to $88.52, helped give the overall materials group a 1.1-per-cent boost.
In economic data, Canadian business were more optimistic about future sales and exports, and plan to boost hiring and investment to meet demand despite uncertainty about U.S. protectionism, according to the Bank of Canada’s quarterly business outlook survey.
Global equity markets eased on Monday as investors awaited the first meeting later this week between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as the dollar gained amid a positive U.S. backdrop of rising interest rates.
European shares touched a 16-month high before paring gains as they tracked Asian shares higher in the wake of upbeat manufacturing data out of Europe and China.
Shares on Wall Street fell in morning trading as investors assessed how Trump’s protectionist stance on trade will play out during meetings with Xi slated for Thursday and Friday.
Mr. Trump held out the possibility, in an interview published on Sunday by the Financial Times, of using trade as a lever to secure Chinese cooperation against North Korea.
“The market will be anxious and will be eager to glean whatever they get from those talks,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
“The market was a little taken aback by Trump’s comments recently about the meeting,” he said.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.49 per cent, shedding earlier gains, and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.39 percent.
German manufacturing growth hit almost a six-year high in March, Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed. Manufacturing activity in France and Italy also rose, adding to signs of a pickup in the global economy.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.12 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 20,584.1. The S&P 500 lost 11.29 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 2,351.43 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 27.46 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 5,884.28.
The dollar rose amid investor expectations U.S. rates will continue to rise this year, even as Federal Reserve officials have said the Fed is in no rush to tighten monetary policy.
“U.S. fundamentals remain solid, may improve further still, if the president can make some quick progress on tax reform,” said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.
U.S. construction spending and manufacturing data were positive overall, affirming the economy’s steady improvement and helping lift the dollar. Construction spending grew 0.8 per cent to $1.19-trillion, the highest since April 2006.
The dollar index rose 0.31 per cent, with the euro unchanged at $1.0649.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.34 per cent versus the greenback at 111.01 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.247, down 0.60 percent on the day.
Oil prices were under pressure as a rebound in Libyan oil output over the weekend offset upbeat economic data from Asia that suggested robust energy demand from the region.
Benchmark Brent futures eased by 8 cents to $53.45 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 10 cents at $50.50 a barrel.
Manufacturing data showed factories across much of Asia posted another month of solid growth in March.
The Bank of Japan’s “tankan” survey showed business sentiment improved, albeit slightly less than expected.